One Thousand Years of Shifting Borders — Peter Robinson

 

In his speech annexing the Crimea yesterday, Russian President Putin complained that when the Soviet Union became defunct back in 1991, “[m]illions of Russians went to bed in one country and woke up in another.”  Herewith, three minutes and twenty-three seconds suggesting that Russians, like all Europeans, had a thousand years in which to get used to the experience.

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  1. A Beleaguered Conservative Member
    A Beleaguered Conservative
    @

    What a video!  A graphic reminder that all human things are ephemeral.

    • #1
  2. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Awesome video! ?Where’s that from.

    • #2
  3. Spherical Cow Inactive
    Spherical Cow
    @SphericalCow

    Amazing how the English channel provided so much stability.  Note to self….. when forming a country try to surround it with water.

    • #3
  4. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Yes, but vastly more people woke up back in their own nations that had been stolen from them by Russians.

    • #4
  5. user_31950 Contributor
    user_31950
    @KingBanaian

    Peter, hope you get a chance to read Borderland, by Anna Reid.  It’s 15 years old now but a great history of Ukraine that is just like the video here.

    • #5
  6. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    The points made are valid, but for the record, the historical accuracy of the maps shown here is very poor. In fact I have no idea where the people who put this together got their historical information. Check out 1905. Who knew that Germany owned Ukraine, the Baltics and Belgium! Or that the Ottoman Empire had no European possessions, and 3 non-identifiable Balkan countries existed, or that Georgia was independent. None of my historical knowledge has any of that recorded.

    • #6
  7. Tim H. Inactive
    Tim H.
    @TimH

    I agree with the critique that there are some inaccuracies (I was paying attention to my wife’s native Romania as I watched, and there were a couple or three things I caught), but I still appreciate the work someone put into assembling this.

    To me, this reinforces my belief that historical claims of one country to rule a territory are nearly meaningless.  Countless other countries will be able to make the same claim.  What counts is that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.  

    But sadly, for much of Europe, I do see one fly in this ointment—ethnic nationalism.  The failure of groups to assimilate with their neighbors, not even adopting the regional language, keeps any peace tenuous and unstable, since you’ll rarely ever get the general consent of the governed, no matter who is in charge.  There will be villages permanently considering themselves outsiders.  The practice by empires of moving their subject populations around encouraged this, to the everlasting detriment of Europe.

    After seeing this, I am more than ever in favor of encouraging our American immigrants to assimilate!

    • #7
  8. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Tim H.:
    After seeing this, I am more than ever in favor of encouraging our American immigrants to assimilate!

      After all America is one of the few countries in the world where people can in fact assimilate fully and yet still maintain much of their cultural traditions. It isn’t a process of replacing old customs with new but adopting new ones on top of old. Heck you don’t even have to give up your native tongue, you just have to learn enough English to get by. 

    • #8
  9. Atavist Member
    Atavist
    @Atavist

    AIG:
    The points made are valid, but for the record, the historical accuracy of the maps shown here is very poor. In fact I have no idea where the people who put this together got their historical information. Check out 1905. Who knew that Germany owned Ukraine, the Baltics and Belgium! Or that the Ottoman Empire had no European possessions, and 3 non-identifiable Balkan countries existed, or that Georgia was independent. None of my historical knowledge has any of that recorded.

    Yes, the depiction of Germany pre WW1 is wildly inaccurate, Belgium was emphatically not a part of the Second Reich, most of modern Ukraine was a part of Austria-Hungary and had been for quite some time (Galicia-Lodomeria) and Poland was an independent country (often referred to as “Congress Poland”, as my grandmother who was born there would remind me). There are other inaccuracies but you get the non-picture.

    • #9
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Peter,

    It does show how out of character our 200+ years has been. The USA is the most radical nation ever.

    • #10
  11. user_1152 Member
    user_1152
    @DonTillman

    Looking for a career with solid job security?  European cartographer.

    • #11
  12. Peter Robinson Contributor
    Peter Robinson
    @PeterRobinson

    Beautifully stated, Bryan!

    • #12
  13. user_313423 Inactive
    user_313423
    @StephenBishop

    I’m getting.

    File not found or deleted!

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    I saw this video, and I liked it, but I find one thing about it that’s either particularly insightful, or patently misleading:

    So, one of the most stable countries on the map over the centuries is England, whose boundaries rarely change.

    However, as pretty much anybody with a rudimentary understanding of British history can tell you, it’s not like England was ruled, or even populated, by the same people during that entire history.

    Britons, Romans, Vikings, Saxons, Normans, and even the Dutch and the Germans (if you count William of Orange and then the Saxe-Coburgs).

    So, does this tell us that the borders of a country are more important than its ethnic make-up or who happens to sit on the throne, since England’s borders have survived after so many invasions?

    Or does it mean that the borders are meaningless, and that “England” has actually been several different countries during that long sweep of history?

    • #14
  15. AIG Inactive
    AIG
    @AIG

    England had the luxury of being an island, so border changes were impossible. Also, the ethnicity of the particular ruler hasn’t been a defining characteristic of European nations, as almost all of them have had monarchs from different ethnicity/nationalities rule over them (such as, for example, a German queen in Russia)

    Also, the colors of nations change in the map, as they do in England too, indicating some form of “regime change”.

    • #15
  16. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Where is James of England?  He got really upset about this video.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Spherical Cow:
    Amazing how the English channel provided so much stability. Note to self….. when forming a country try to surround it with water.

     Always leave room for a moat.

    • #17
  18. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    England from 1000 years ago has not been ruled by Vikings or anyone except the Normans and their descendants (well, starting in 1066, anyway).  The nationality of a particular monarch does not change the country’s identity.

    • #18
  19. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    &strong>Fred Cole: Where is James of England? He got really upset about this video.  

    I don’t know how I missed this post, but would appreciate being PM’d if anyone shows this video again in the future. I cannot overstate how disappointed I am in Ricochet, and in Peter Robinson and Misthiocracy in particular, from whom I expect much, much better.

    I don’t demand that everyone be a history major, but knowing that the First World War started in the 20th century, not in 1894, is the sort of thing that I expect from ordinary Americans of average intelligence and education, and much less than the baseline I have come to expect of Ricochetti.

    Likewise, I don’t demand that everyone know the details of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, but I do think it reasonable to expect that Ricochetti be aware that the Second World War was over before the Cuban Missile Crisis began.

    This video is filled with the most shameful propaganda, from start to finish. I mention the World Wars because I expect Americans to know about them, but the video is just as dishonest in other time periods.

    • #19
  20. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    To those who were taken in by this video, particularly those who, like Peter, know that they were born after the Second World War had concluded, but could see here the claim that it continued through their childhood, should really ask themselves the next time they see a Russian propaganda piece whether that, too, depends on claims that they know not to be true.

    In the speech that Peter cites, Putin also said that the Ukrainian fascists were engaging in acts of terrorism. Russia Today has carried innumerable stupid stories like this one, that take a shotgun approach to propaganda. The MSM gets a lot wrong, but if you can’t find stories in either the MSM or its periphery (NRO, WS, think tanks and other reasonably sober experts), you should probably approach the story with a considerable degree of cynicism.

    It is also helpful to note the lack of countervailing propaganda; while Ricochetti have linked to Syrian government news articles on FSA atrocities, no one links to fringe sources on Assad’s horrors. Russian propaganda has been exceptionally successful, and if this video encourages some basic analysis of our news sources, the shame will be mitigated.

    • #20
  21. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Yeah, Sorry, James, that’s on me.  I figured you’d see it.

    • #21
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